Advice for staining white fir to match redwood
I'm building a deck, and I purchased 6x6 fir vertical posts which will come up through the deck base and be used for a pergola above. The cost savings was considerable (we are on a severe budget), but the posts are very, very white.
How would you recommend staining them to match the redwood of the deck and rail? The redwood is "deck hart", and is a very rich, deep color. Almost an orangy pink. This pic is pretty close:
The posts are, of course, being sealed heavily and sunk into cement with those cardboard tube forms.
Also, do you think I need to water proof the redwood? I live in San Jose, CA, where we get maybe 60 hard rain days each year, and maybe 7 days below freezing. It never snows.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Staining any wood is a matter of sanding it, but not too smooth, #120 0r 150 is good. Then applythe stain. It can be an oil based stain or a gel stain, but since it is outside, deck stains in tinted, semi transparent or solid work well. Color is your choice, but try samples in unseen spots first.
I don't like to bury posts in concrete or below grade, they will rot out more quickly. But for your application, you need the rigidity. You can treat the buried part with a wood preservative beforehand. If you can find one in the land where everything useful is banned.
One thing you might consider is not trying to match the posts to the rail and decking. Sometimes using a darker/lighter or contrasting stain on posts actually adds some depth and additional focus to nice construction details.
If you want to try and match experimentation is your best bet. Unfortunately you cannot get exterior stains in quarts easily.
You should protect the deck with some sort of sealer or semi-transparent stain. Among other things the redwood will gray naturally and fairly quickly without something. Solid stains would be a possibiity for the posts. Do not use a waxed based sealer like Thompson's as it will come back to haunt you.
You should treat at least the bases of your fir posts with some protection against rot and insects.
First decide the on stain color that you would like for the redwood, stain a sample then take that sample and a raw piece of your fir to your local paint store and have them make a custom color match to get the fir as close to your redwood as possible then seal both.
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